Engineering nanoparticle-based vaccines: Implications for the quality of humoral and cellular immunity

Vaccination is undoubtedly a major success in modern medicine. Yet, today there are pathogens for which no licensed or fully protective vaccines have been created. Development of vaccines based on subunit components has proven to be a safe and cost effective method for eliciting protection against pathogenic infections. It erases safety concern related to immunization with live attenuated viruses, and it offers the flexibility to target a specific antigen as well as to tune the quality of the response by selecting a precise immunostimulatory compound. Still, the ability of subunit vaccines to stimulate an immune response is usually weaker than traditional vaccine preparations. One of the approaches used to enhance immunogenicity of subunit vaccines is antigen loading or presentation by biomaterial-based carriers, especially in particulate shapes. For this purpose, our group has recently developed two nanocarriers, nanoparticles (NPs) and polymersomes (PSs) that differ considerably between each other in their physical and chemical properties. In this thesis, we evaluated the impact of antigen delivery by nanocarriers on the magnitude, and more importantly, on the quality of cellular and humoral responses. We assessed how NPs modified the CD8+ T cell response to a viral MHCI epitope and demonstrated that presentation of antigen by NPs significantly enhances the magnitude of the cellular responses. Moreover, we showed that the quality of the memory CD8+ T cells was considerably altered, with NPs promoting a robust pool of memory CD8+ T cells with an effector-like phenotype. Recent work by our group showed that T cell responses induced by NPs and PSs differ significantly depending on the delivery vehicle, with NPs enhancing cytotoxic T cell responses and PS augmenting CD4+ T cells. Herein, we demonstrated that the preferential T cell activation is the consequence of a distinct intracellular trafficking and a differential organ biodistribution of the antigen, which is promoted by the properties of the nanocarrier. Furthermore, we found that PSs are better at enhancing CD4+ T cell activation and inducing T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, which translated in an increase in germinal center B cells. Considering these results, we decided to evaluate the feasibility of a PS-based vaccine for the delivery of an antigen derived from Lassa virus, the Lassa Glycoprotein 1 (LASV-GP1). Our data showed that PSs promote an enhancement in the quality of the antibodies against LASV-GP1, which display an increased protein binding because of a broader epitope targeting. Finally, we demonstrated that, besides classical antigen-presenting cells, non-hematopoietic stromal cells also scavenge foreign antigens. We showed that lymph node lymphatic endothelial cell (LECs) internalize and process exogenous proteins in inflammatory and non-inflammatory conditions in vivo. Although with our approach we could not detect the implications of LECs presentation in the functional outcome of immune responses, we hypothesize that the elucidation of the roles of LECs on the tuning of immunity will bring novel modes of immunomodulation of vaccines. In summary, this thesis describes a comprehensive study of the adaptive immune responses generated after intradermal delivery of particulate-based subunit vaccines.

    Keywords: Nanoparticles ; polymersomes ; antibodies ; Lassa ; lymph node ; vaccine ; quality ; T cell ; B cell ; dendritic cell

    Thèse École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL, n° 6848 (2016)
    Programme doctoral Biotechnologie et Génie biologique
    Faculté des sciences de la vie
    Institut interfacultaire de Bioingénierie (SV)
    Laboratoire de recherche intégrative du système lymphatique et du cancer
    Jury: Prof. Aleksandra Radenovic (présidente) ; professeure Melody Swartz, Sachiko Hirosue (directeurs) ; Prof. Bruno Correia, Prof. Anna Mondino, Prof. Pedro Romero (rapporteurs)

    Public defense: 2016-1-14


    Record created on 2015-12-30, modified on 2016-08-09


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